Asking how much a diamond costs is like asking how long a piece of string is. It all depends on how you cut it. Literally. While it may seem like a fairly easy question to answer, there actually is no correct answer to this question.
By attempting to answer this question, we first need to consider what size diamond you are looking at, the shape, and the kind of gemstone quality. It is then that we can determine how much a 1-carat diamond actually costs. Although diamond prices vary significantly based on the 4C's – cut, color, clarity, and carat, uncontrollable external factors such as market supply and demand and global economics also play a part in the final price.
When we talk about a 1-carat diamond, this refers to the weight of the diamond. 1-carat equals 0.2 grams and weighs roughly the same as a quarter of a raisin. In South Africa, one of the biggest challenges is that the prices of diamonds are fixed in dollars.
Depending on how the rand/dollar fluctuates based on the exchange rate, this could lead to really hefty diamond prices.
How 1-carat diamonds are priced
Diamond prices increase as you reach higher weight categories. The search for the almost 1-carat diamond (ie. 0.9 – 0.99) has become incredibly popular as most customers believe that there will be a significant cost saving, however, this is not entirely true. Rather, broaden your search to include the 1-carat diamond, as the saving will not be worth the effort.
How big is a 1-carat diamond?
A 1 carat, the round diamond is roughly 6.5mm in diameter. Other shapes would have a different diameter reading as the surface area is larger or smaller. Although this might seem small, a 1-carat diamond is without a doubt big enough to draw attention and look beautiful.
As size and carat weight are definitely important factors when purchasing a diamond, choosing a well-cut diamond is imperative.
Determining the clarity rating of a 1-carat diamond
One of the most important aspects to consider in a diamond is clarity. This indicates how many inclusions, blemishes, or extra facets are on the diamond. It is recommended to view this personally or to ask for assistance from an expert. After all, what you see with your naked eye sees is more important than a diamond grade rating.
The GIA grade rating in diamonds varies from best to worst:
- IF – Internally Flawless
- VVSI1 – Very Very Small Inclusions 1
- VVSI2 – Very Very Small Inclusions 2
- VS1 – Very Small Inclusions 1
- VS2 – Very Small Inclusions 2
- SI1 – Small Inclusions 1
- SI2 – Small Inclusions 2
- I1 – Inclusions 1
- I2 – Inclusions 2
For a 1 carat diamond a minimum of a VS2 rating is recommended as most blemishes will be invisible to the naked eye.
How much is a 1-carat diamond?
- A round-cut, 1 carat G color, SI1 clarity, excellent cut with GIA-certification diamond will cost approximately R100 000, based on the current exchange rate of R14.52 to the US dollar.
- A princess-cut, 1 carat H color, SI1 clarity with GIA certification diamond will cost approximately R66 595, based on the current exchange rate of R14.52 to the US dollar.
- A round-cut, 1 carat E color, VS1 clarity with GIA certification diamond will cost
approximately R131 218, based on the current exchange rate of R14.52 to the US dollar.
If you were to purchase a 0.90 carat G color, SI1 round diamond, you could land up saving around R25 000.
How to get the best value for your diamond
To ensure the diamond that you are purchasing is exactly what the jeweler is saying it is, ensure it comes with a GIA rating. The GIA rating is a well-known diamond grating entity that issues reports for diamonds. When selecting your 1 Carat diamond, ensure that you maximize the brilliance of the diamond by choosing an excellent cut.
The cut determines the beauty and the value of a diamond. Choose a diamond in the colorless G-I range as these will appear just as colorless as diamonds in the D-F
range, just with a far cheaper price tag. Diamonds with a VS1 and VS2 clarity grade offer the best value for money for what can be seen with the naked eye. With regards to shape, this is where it gets personal.
Select a shape that is not only timeless but one that you love the most.